Starting on Friday, last weekend proved to be quite the adventure for me. For some background, the past two weeks were the worst of the semester so far, in terms of busy-ness. I had 2 midterms each week, and at least 3 assignments/hw to turn in, a lab report, and (neglected) readings to do in the midst of all of this. NOBE national conference was also happening , so the past two weeks included hammering out details and executing tasks for that. The conference turned out to be a huge success! We had members fly in from various chapters, including Drexel, Wisconsin, McGill (in Canada), Minnesota, Purdue, and UIUC among others. On Friday during the day, members that had already arrived took a day trip to Santa Monica to enjoy the beach and some grub. My roommate Amber and I picked up $250 worth of In’N’Out for dinner for all our members to enjoy later that evening. On one of the trips carrying a case of water up to the 4th floor for dinner, I got trapped in the elevator for a few minutes. What was interesting about this was that I was trapped with Sam Teller, managing director for LaunchPad LA, one of the most reputed startup accelerator programs in Los Angeles. Sam was actually speaking later that night and judging a junkyard marketing challenge for our conference. His insights were well received, and he enjoyed some of the projects we came up with. My group took second place, with our company HoliDay H’Ordevours (a company that makes gift baskets for all religious holidays) and a prototype for the Yom Kippur Basket made of the random materials we were given to work with. Each member of the team was given a page out of the dictionary, from which we had to incorporate any word on the page into our presentation. I had Yom Kippur:) We purchased Bottega Louie macaroons for the winners and for Sam as a thank you to Sam for judging the competition. That man is on his social media game! He tweeted this picture from the elevator
The following morning, we moved forward with all official NOBE business, including chapter updates, constitutional amendments, thoughts for improvement, and elections. We also enjoyed more awesome speakers and a rapid business plan competition, judged by more directors of LA accelerators (Howard Marks of Start Engine and Chris Olson of Amplify). The winning team received a $100 dollars to split among themselves (my team once again, took second place). This was a great opportunity for cross collaboration among team members of different schools. We breaked for lunch in the middle of the day, and enjoyed catering from Green Hut Cafe. The salads and sandwiches were absolutely delicious! We had leftover salad for our entire house for the rest of the week! It was so nice to not have to cook. Elections took up the longest portion of the day, but we ended up with a fantastic National Board for the 2013-2014 school year. My Co-Vp, Rishi, will be serving as the National Finance Director for next year. I am so proud of him! In his speech, he shared that he had been doing his parents’ taxes for them since he was 14. He also just started a hedge fund with his aunt, and while he is studying Computer Science Business Admin. here, he is incredibly interested in finance.
Later that night, we had a social event with all the members that didn’t have to catch night flights. We had some good old fashioned fun, in the form of a pizza and pool party in Rishi’s backyard. The turnout was great, and everybody had a good time. Thereafter, small groups branched out to other nearby parties thrown by some of our friends, so that visiting students could meet more people and get a taste of social life here at USC. I think they all enjoyed themselves, and the resonating sentiment was that USC is full of hospitable students who know how to show visitors a good time! The following day, Alden (our prez, and one of my roommates) ventured to Hollywood and Venice with the remaining chapters after breakfast. Although the conference was officially over, we wanted to give the remaining visitors a chance to see more of LA. By Sunday night, we had closed shop completely. Although I couldn’t join in on Sunday’s festivities because of homework obligations, I was able to say bye to everyone. It will be fun to see where the conference ends up being held next year, and how the next chapter tries to compete with the conference we put on:)
On Wednesday of this past week, we had elections for our local NOBE chapter here. Most of my co-officers, from the original founding board here at USC, did not run for re-election. We want to make sure NOBE transitions smoothly and survives after we graduate. Accordingly, we have decided to act as advisors, and pass on the reigns for next year. It is so strange that I won’t be one of the key decision makers or event coordinators in my VP role anymore, but I can’t wait to see what our new board brings to the table. I look forward to helping them out, and seeing all the wonderful events they bring to campus! I couldn’t have asked for a better 3 years with this organization. And I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end my tenure as VP than this National Conference!